Syrian army pounds ISIS strongholds in Hasakah, militants fight back

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Soldiers of the Syrian regime's army checking location in Hasakah countryside. File photo

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – On Monday, pro-regime forces resumed shelling on locations of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the southern areas of the city of Hasakah, in northeastern Syria.

Attempting to defend their strongholds south of Hasakah, clashes broke out between IS militants and pro-regime armed forces. 

Speaking to ARA News in Hasakah, civil rights activist Ahmed Khalil said that fierce clashes continued until midnight Monday between the pro-regime forces and the hard-line group, in conjunction with the artillery bombardment on the group’s strongholds launched from Mount Kawkab (10 km east of Hasaka city).

“The shelling has been targeting the security cordon in the vicinity of the villages of al-Dawoodiya and Rad Shaqra since the early morning hours on Monday,” he added. “Some targets, according to locals, were direct hits and caused dozens of casualties in the group’s ranks.”

ARA News could not verify the number of casualties in the group’s ranks.

The source pointed out that the southeastern areas of Hasakah are mostly vulnerable to bombardment, while clashes have not stopped since the first attack by the group on Hasakah on Sunday evening.

In the meantime, the Media Office of the Baath Brigades in Hasakah announced that the (pro-regime) Syrian Arab Army with the support of the militias of the Maghawir and the National Defense Forces launched a military operation dubbed as “Avenge the Martyrs” at dawn on Monday, “in order to expel the jihadists from the southern areas of Hasakah”. 

For more than two years, the Islamic State group has been striving to gain control over major areas in Hasakah province. The group has been engaged in fighting with the Syrian regime in southern Hasakah, while combatting the Kurdish forces in western Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and the areas surrounding the city of Tel Temir –where Assyrians constitute majority.

 

Reporting by: Zozan Shekho

Source: ARA News

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